Robert DeLeo

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This article is about the bass player. For the Massachusetts politician, see Robert DeLeo (politician).
Robert DeLeo
Robertdeleo2008.jpg
Robert DeLeo performing with STP in 2008
Background information
Birth name Robert Emile DeLeo
Born (1966-02-02) February 2, 1966 (age 48)
Genres Alternative rock, grunge, hard rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Bass, backing vocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1985–present
Labels Atlantic
Associated acts Stone Temple Pilots
Talk Show
Army of Anyone
Notable instruments
Schecter Model-T, Gibson Thunderbird

Robert Emile DeLeo (born February 2, 1966 in Montclair, New Jersey) is an American bass player, songwriter, and harmony vocalist for the rock band Stone Temple Pilots. He has also played in Talk Show and Army of Anyone. He is the younger brother of STP guitarist Dean DeLeo.

Stone Temple Pilots (1985-2003, 2008-present)[edit]

Robert met Scott Weiland (who would eventually become lead singer of STP) at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach. They soon realized that they were both dating the same woman. After she moved to Texas, Weiland and Deleo moved into her San Diego apartment, where they tried to form a band. They eventually hooked up with drummer Eric Kretz, and Robert managed to convince his brother Dean to play guitar in their new band. The band took the name Mighty Joe Young. They played many gigs around LA bars, and were eventually signed onto Atlantic Records in 1992. However, the name "Mighty Joe Young" had already been taken, so the band was forced to change their name to "Stone Temple Pilots" (which has no specific meaning, according to Weiland).

During their years, Stone Temple Pilots came to be one of the most successful bands of the 90's. Robert is credited with much of the band's music, including the famous intros for the songs "Plush" and "Interstate Love Song". Although sales of their records eclipsed over 30 million, the band disbanded due to Scott Weiland's continuous problems with drug abuse.

Stone Temple Pilots reunited in early 2008 and recently completed a reunion tour. The band released its eponymous sixth studio album on May 25, 2010.

Talk Show and Army of Anyone (1997-1998), (2006-2007)[edit]

During Stone Temple Pilots's hiatus in 1997 due to Scott's bouts with the law, Robert, his brother Dean, and Kretz joined with singer Dave Coutts of Ten Inch Men and formed Talk Show. Scott went into rehab and released a solo album during this time. Released in 1997 on Atlantic Records, Talk Show peaked at #131 on the Billboard 200 and was considered a commercial flop.[1] Dave Coutts was eventually fired and the band disbanded.

After STP's break up in 2003, Robert and Dean joined Filter frontman Richard Patrick and drummer Ray Luzier to form the group Army of Anyone. The group met after Patrick contacted the DeLeos on writing material for Filter's fourth album. The band eventually called in Luzier in for an audition, found the formula worked, and the band was formed. The band's self-titled album was released on November 14, 2006. The album became a critical success; some went as far to label the album as one of the bests of the year. Robert summed up his sound on the album as follows; “I kind of combined bass stuff with some guitar stuff to achieve my sound—I’ve really been going nuts on eBay! I’m still trying to achieve this one bass sound I keep hearing in my head—kind of taking [Motown legend] James Jamerson’s feel and mixing that with John Entwistle’s or Chris Squire’s sound. So it’s a funky bottom, with a really aggressive top. The sound on this record is the closest I’ve gotten to that.”[2] However, Army of Anyone ended up going on an "indefinite hiatus" in 2007 after disappointing album sales and Richard Patrick's return to Filter.

DeLeo performs at the Rolling Rock Town Fair on August 4th, 2001.
DeLeo performs at the Rolling Rock Town Fair on August 4th, 2001.

Equipment and style[edit]

Robert is known for his wide use of Schecter basses, although he makes considerable use of other basses during recording sessions. DeLeo is a former employee of Schecter Guitar Research and built the prototype of what later became his signature model while working there. The Schecter Model T was his primary live instrument during his years with STP. The bass features a 34" scale neck and Duncan pickups. Variants of this bass include a 5-string model, and several different pickup configurations.[3]

In Army of Anyone's "Goodbye" video, he played a Rickenbacker bass.

He is known for his smooth style of playing, with infusions of jazz, '60s rhythm and blues, and hard rock creating a rather distinctive tone. His primary influence is legendary bassist James Jamerson. Other influences include the late John Entwistle of the seminal rock band The Who, Rocco Prestia of Tower of Power, and Chris Squire of Yes, and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Robert is known for being a master riff maker; he created most of the riffs for STP which was the band's trademark style, and wrote and arranged most of the band's songs. He also uses a bass Wah-wah pedal to change his tone accordingly (a great example being the song "Vasoline" by STP). He mostly uses Marshall and Fender amplification, but has been seen using vintage Ampeg amps (and basses) as well.

During the STP years, DeLeo has used a wide variety of equipment; though he uses the Schecter live, for recording purposes he has used a wide variety of basses, and has a fondness for oddball off-brand basses from the 1960s, particularly short-scale hollowbody basses which he strung with flatwound strings.(Bass Player Magazine, November 2001 interview)

DeLeo's usual live rig while with STP consists of an Alembic F1X preamp, a QSC MX1500 poweramp, three Eden 2x12 cabinets and three Eden 4x10 cabinets. One 2x12 and one 4x10 cab are placed on either side of the drum riser, and the third stack is placed on DeLeo's side of the stage and kept in reserve as a backup. (Bass Player Magazine, November 2001 interview)

Core was recorded with a Jazz-type bass prototype version of his Schecter Model-T bass, a G&L L2000, and an Ampeg SVT amplifier with an 8x10 cabinet. Purple was recorded with his live rig.(Bass Player Magazine, November 2001 interview)

De Leo's usual studio rig for most of Tiny Music..., all of No. 4, and all of Shangri-La-Dee-Da was more complicated; He split his signal, bi-amping it to a '67 50-watt Marshall Plexi guitar head with '69 Marshall keyboard 8x10 cabinet, and a '59 Fender Bassman amplifier with a custom 1x15 cabinet. This configuration, which DeLeo noted in a Bass Player Magazine article as being an idea he lifted from Chris Squire of Yes, allowed DeLeo to use distorted and clean sounds simultaneously and produce more workable sounds on tape by blending the signals to taste. (Bass Player Magazine, November 2001 interview)

Among the basses DeLeo is known to have used are his Schecter Model-T signature basses, a '66 Fender Precision bass with flatwound strings (e.g. "Sour Girl"), several shortscale hollowbody basses with flatwound strings ("Creep" is a Limgar, "Big Empty" and "Atlanta" are an Orlando), and a '76 Rickenbacker 4001 (Art School Girl), '50s Danelectro Longhorn, an unknown type of upright bass ("Pretty Penny") and Fender Musicmaster. Occasionally uses Sansamp BDDI for extra drive, and used an MXR phase 90 on "And So I Know" and an EHX Micro Synth on "Transmissions from a Lonely Room." (Bass Player Magazine, November 2001 interview)

Production[edit]

Robert and his older brother, Dean, produced the 2010 Stone Temple Pilots album, Stone Temple Pilots, as well as Alien Ant Farm's TruANT, back in 2003.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billboard 200 chart history - Talk Show. Accessed on March 6, 2010.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Find the Latest in Music Gear News and More | Harmony Central". News.harmony-central.com. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 

External links[edit]